The hundred of Leyland: Introduction and map

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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'The hundred of Leyland: Introduction and map', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) pp. 1-2. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]

In this section



Containing The Parishes Of
Leyland; Penwortham; Brindle; Croston; Hesketh-With-Becconsall; Tarleton; Rufford; Chorley; Hoole; Eccleston; Standish

Before the Conquest the hundred and manor of Leyland were the king's, and both seem to have been conterminous except for Penwortham. King Edward in 1066 held in demesne in Leyland I hide and 2 plough-lands, with a wood 2 leagues long by 1 broad in which was an eyry of hawks, while twelve berewicks appurtenant were held by twelve free men for as many manors. In these there were 6 hides and 8 ploughlands, with woods 6 leagues long by 3 leagues and I furlong broad. In Penwortham were 2 ploughlands, held by King Edward. The men of the hundred had the same customs as those of Salford. The manor of Leyland and hundred together rendered £19 18s. 2d. yearly to the king. Penwortham rendered 10d. (fn. 1)


In 1086 Girard held 1½ hides of the land of the manor, Robert 3 ploughlands, Ralph and Roger 2 plough-lands each, and Walter 1 plough-land; 4 radmans, a priest, 14 villeins, 6 bordars, and 2 neatherds had 8 ploughs, but part of the land was waste or unoccupied. The woodland had decreased to an area of 3 leagues by 2 with 4 eyries of hawks. The value was 50s. Penwortham had a castle, and was worth £3. (fn. 2)

The lordship of the hundred descended, in the same way as that of West Derby, (fn. 3) to the Dukes of Lancaster and the Crown. The principal officer was the bailiff of the hundred, who in 1212 was Gerald de Clayton. (fn. 4) In or before 1246 his descendant Robert de Clayton sold his bailiwick to William de Ferrers, lord of the land 'between Ribble and Mersey,' (fn. 5) from whom it passed to a younger son William, ancestor of the Groby family. As in the case of other lands of the younger William de Ferrers the bailiwick became divided between several tenants, who were known as the 'lords of Leylandshire, (fn. 6) but by the beginning of the 17th century was held in moieties by Shireburne of Stonyhurst (fn. 7) and Rigby of Burgh. (fn. 8)

As more than half the hundred was within the barony of Penwortham it might have been expected that conflicts would arise between the bailiffs of the hundred and of the barony. This, however, does not seem to have been the case, perhaps because both officers were officers of the Duchy, (fn. 9) but the hundred courts were held at Eccleston, a place central enough, yet outside the limits of the barony. Some notices of the wapentake occur. (fn. 10)

The subsidies show the relative wealth of this part of the county. In 1237 a contribution of one-thirtieth of movable goods yielded £28 5s. 2d., or rather more than an eighteenth part of the total raised from the county. (fn. 11) In 1332 another subsidy, the basis of the later 'fifteenth,' produced a few shillings more, being under a tenth of the gross collection. (fn. 12) According to the county lay fixed in 1624 Leyland Hundred had to contribute £9 towards each £100 required from the county. (fn. 13)

According to the certificate of the general muster of 1574 the men furnished with weapons by the county included 259 from this hundred, viz. 59 archers and 200 billmen; the unfurnished men were 40 archers and 90 billmen. (fn. 14)

On the formation of the diocese of Manchester in 1847 the whole of this hundred was included in it.


  • 1. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 287b.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 221.
  • 4. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 33. See also the account of Clayton-le-Woods.
  • 5. Assize R. 404, m. 17 d.
  • 6. The descent is shown in the account of the manor of Chorley. In the sheriff's accounts for 1348 appears a sum of 13s. 4d. from John Harrington and partners, bailiffs of the wapentake, for leave to appoint a deputy; Duchy of Lanc. Var. Accts. 32/17, fol. 4. William de Ferrers of Groby died in 1371 seised of a fourth part of the wapentake of Leylandshire, worth 2s.; a fourth part of the services of free tenants there, 13s. 4d.; and a fourth part of the bailiwick of the serjeanty of the wapentake, nil; Inq. p.m. 45 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 22. John de Arderne in 1395 held (for life) of the inheritance of William de Ferrers a fourth part of the bailiwick or wapentake of Leylandshire, with all the issues, profits, fines, and amercements of the court; also three-parts of another fourth part of the wapentake; Inq. p.m. 18 Ric. II, no. I. At this time, therefore, the Ferrers family held a moiety of the bailiwick. Their portion was afterwards held by the Earls of Derby, who in 1523 had a moiety of the wapentake; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 68. This was sold in 1597 to Roger and Alexander Rigby; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 36, m. 258. John de Harrington died in 1359 seised of a fourth part of the same bailiwick, held of Henry Duke of Lancaster, and worth 40s. a year; Inq. p.m. 36 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 99. This descended to the Lords Mounteagle, and was in 1574 sold by William Stanley, Lord Mounteagle, to Sir Richard Shireburne; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 36, m. 138. As Sir Richard held a fourth part of the wapentake of 'Eccleston' already by inheritance, his share thus became a moiety; see Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 65.
  • 7. Richard Shireburne died in 1628 holding the hundred, bailiwick, and view of frankpledge of Leylandshire; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvi, no. 4. The hundred of Leyland, like the other Shireburne manors, &c., was in the possession of Thomas Weld in 1777; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 625, m. 10 d. (16), 40.
  • 8. Edward Rigby died in 1627 holding a moiety of the wapentake of Leylandshire, rendering the service of bailiff of the hundred; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvi, no. 5.
  • 9. About 1526 Henry Farington was high steward of the wapentake and hundred, and in 1544 the same Henry was high steward of the fee of Penwortham; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 227, 203.
  • 10. In the sheriff's accounts of 1348 it appears that the following sums were due: for 4 burgages in Chorley, 4s., and £4 from the park of Healey; Duchy of Lane. Var. Accts. 32/17. For an under-bailiff's troubles in making a distraint see Duchy Plead. ii, 226. It appears that notice of the holding of the wapentake court was given on Sunday at Standish Church, and probably at the other churches in the hundred.
  • 11. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 50.
  • 12. Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 53.
  • 13. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 22.
  • 14. Ibid. 31.